The importance of vocational training for CCTV

November 11, 2009

Mike Tennent of Tavcom Training sets out the final part of his response to Mark Harraway of Controlware’s “Dont Go Hybrid”  article.

The security systems industry is one of exceptional challenge and reward. At Tavcom, we believe that the key to a successful future career in the sector lies with our special brand of vocational training – a careful blend and balance of classroom theory and ‘hands on’ practical experience that reinforces knowledge based learning. In a fast paced technological world we are not ashamed to state that some ‘old fashioned’ tried and tested methods of teaching still remain the best. In short, ‘Tell me and I will listen’, ‘Show me and I will observe’ and ‘Let me do it to demonstrate that I have learned’ are the maxims by which Tavcom’s team of experienced tutors continues to operate. Tavcom’s total independence of individual manufacturers or suppliers is fundamental to the success of training as students are able to observe and compare a selection of products side by side. This allows them to develop informed opinions of competing systems and support the choices and recommendations made within the workplace. In accordance with the sentiments expressed in this article, Tavcom’s policy is to utilise only equipment that is current and in general use – neither fully redundant nor excessively futuristic – for students to hone their skills.

To read the original “Dont Go Hybrid” article click here.

To read from the beginning of the Tavcom posts click here.


Flexible system design is key for CCTV ROI

November 10, 2009

IP is here and offers more than hybrid or analogue systems. So Mark Harraway argues here. Mike Tennent of Tavcom Training sets out the next part of his response below.

The sensible answer to all these issues (concering analogue, hybrid and IP technology) is for us to encourage progress and quality whilst coming to terms with the equipment we actually have available and using that to design cost effective solutions for the security and surveillance needs of clients that are both backwardly and forwardly compatible. Whatever the systems employed, the paramount consideration is to provide image quality that can be measured on a repeatable basis and will meet the expectations of the discerning user and the professional commissioning engineer.

In this way, system designs and installations should never need to come under the critical, eagle eyes of the expert witnesses! Tavcom’s consultants will not mind losing that strand of business if systems are working efficiently for the benefit of people and property.

To read the original “Dont Go Hybrid” article click here.

To read from the beginning of the Tavcom posts click here.


Is IP CCTV Beauty and the Beast rolled into one?

November 3, 2009

Mike Tennent of Tavcom Training responds to “Dont go hybrid” by Mark Harraway of Controlware.

A simple analogy is that TCP resembles the sending of a registered envelope to a customer who must acknowledge receipt of the consignment with a signature. UDP is like sending an ordinary letter … you never really know if it arrives! So, in essence, this is really no different, in transmission terms, from coaxial cable, optical fibre, twisted pair, microwave, laser or other free space methods.

I suppose cynically-minded people would identify IP as Beauty and the Beast rolled into one! The beauties of IP are that today’s world is increasingly computer-based, the infrastructure of cable is built in, the young people of today are largely computer literate and the transfer of information from computer to computer is so much easier and quicker to perform than old, traditional methods of tape. The beastly part of the analogy is the inability to get a picture from A to B as quickly as you can on many other other forms of transmission. IP produces some form of latency (delay) across the newtwork. This may be perfectly acceptable to many but totally inappropriate in other cases. There is also an issue as to how many cameras can be used on one system at a time.

To read the original “Dont Go Hybrid” article click here.

To read from the beginning of the Tavcom posts click here.


CCTV security: You do not have to accept what can be changed

October 29, 2009

IP is here and offers more than hybrid or analogue systems. So Mark Harraway argues here. Mike Tennent of Tavcom Training sets out the third part of his response below.

One serious matter for all of us, however, is to question whether we – in the security systems sector – should be prepared to remain at the mercy of the consumer market when it comes to the pace and direction of change. I often attend the IBC broadcast conference and exhibition, normally hosted in Amsterdam, to investigate newly developing technologies. Why? Because I know, as sure as ‘eggs is eggs’, that the innovative R&D conducted by the major broadcast suppliers will spill over into the consumer market and, as a direct result of the huge numbers and buying power in that sector, will send successive waves of low cost electronic components heading towards us! The security industry has always has been – and still is – a voracious carrion eater of components, picking up the ‘scraps’ at the lowest cost in order to satisfy a market that does not really want to spend serious money in the search for seriously good image quality.

Whether those images are analogue or digital the facts remain the same – no one wants to raise the threshold in manufacturing quality standards as they would probably go bankrupt in the attempt! In general, the end user, the installer and the consultant want broadcast quality images but only if they come with ‘web camera’ type price tags. Our manufacters are perfectly capable of producing CCTV cameras, recorders and display equipment that provide the quality we have come to expect from our television pictures and and indeed they would LOVE to do so. BluRay, for example, produces most acceptable images as do other competing technologies in that field. It is perplexing that so many buyers of security systems continue to bury their heads in the sand. They remain reluctant to invest slightly larger sums in far better equipment that would, if installed correctly, easily give them images that are unquestionably ‘fit for purpose’. That is not always the case at present.

To read the original “Dont Go Hybrid” article click here.

To read from the beginning of the Tavcom posts click here.


The evolution of CCTV, Is change a good thing? Tavcom explains

October 28, 2009

IP is here and offers more than hybrid or analogue systems. So Mark Harraway argues here. Mike Tennent of Tavcom Training sets out the second part of his response below.

Out with the old and in with the new
Such change is inevitable. In my own career I have been extraordinarily fortunate to have seen and experienced the most amazingly and widespread technical developments in security systems. In the world of CCTV the real revolution began some 23 years ago, in 1986, when the first CCD camera waltzed into our industry, warts and all, to virtually wipe out the supply of tube cameras overnight in much the same way as CD-ROMs sounded the death knell for vinyl in the music industry. Of course, many of us more ‘mature’ individuals still shake our heads and wonder when the new digital products in use in our industry will catch up with even the cheapest vidicon tubes we used all those years ago! But, no complaints from this quarter at all … and no looking back. This is merely an observation that we sometimes tend to accept changes simply because they are new and exciting without giving enough thought to whether they really have the qualities to do a better job. On the positive side we must remember that new technologies have inspired our manufacturers, design specialists and installers to reach for new heights.

To read the original “Dont Go Hybrid” article click here.

To read from the beginning of the Tavcom posts click here.


Dont go hybrid, Tavcoms view: Analogue, Hybrid or IP CCTV

October 27, 2009

IP is here and offers more than hybrid or analogue systems. So Mark Harraway argues here. Mike Tennent of Tavcom Training sets out the first part of his response below.

Love them or loathe them, the number of electronic security systems deployed in our buildings and on our streets has burgeoned in recent years and, without a seismic reversal of public and political opinion, that trend is set to continue, not only in the UK but around the world. Hard facts and figures are not easy to come by and are invariably hotly disputed but there can be little argument that we are now – for better or worse – a locked in, locked out, closely watched and frequently recorded society. CCTV, access control, intruder alarm, perimeter defence and other electronic security systems are ubiquitous features of modern life.

This proliferation of technology has meant ‘boom times’ for those who grew up with this new industry but now the goalposts are on the move. The rapid cross pollination and convergence of technology involving the security, IT and other sectors is creating exciting new opportunities for installers from other sectors to enter the security arena and dramatically enhance their career prospects.

To read the original “Dont Go Hybrid” article by Mark Harraway click here.